Friday, 30 January 2015

Review: Acting Brave by Helena Newbury

Acting Brave by Helena Newbury 
(Fenbrook Academy #3) 

Publication date: January 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance

The Blurb

She’s spent her whole life acting. But is she good enough to make him believe she doesn’t love him?

Three years ago, a terrified girl named Emma fled a world of crime and abuse in Chicago and bought a one-way ticket to New York. She reinvented herself as an actress, enrolled at the prestigious Fenbrook Academy and buried her pain beneath a vivacious new persona. Her new name was Jasmine.

Now she has to pull off the performance of her career.

Landing her dream part in a police show, she finds herself falling for her co-star, Ryan, a real-life cop. If she lets him get too close, he’ll awaken memories she doesn’t want to face and uncover secrets that could endanger them both. But how can she keep a guy at arm’s length when she has to kiss him on camera?

The last place Ryan imagined himself was on a TV show. Blaming himself for the death of his partner, he’s on a downward spiral of rage and guilt. The show is his last chance…but how can he keep it professional when his co-star is a woman he’s crazy about?
As their on-screen and off-screen relationships merge, things go from hot to blistering. But when Jasmine’s old life catches up with her, will a cop be the one person she can’t be around…or the only person who can save her?

 GoodReads / Amazon 

My Thoughts

***** 5 Stars

Wow!Wow!Wow! Helena Newbury certainly excelled herself with Acting Brave I was hooked right from the start and it is the perfect addition to the Fenbrook Academy series. I started reading Helena Newbury's books because I signed up for the Acting Brave blog tour. I am someone who likes to read books in a series in order & with Acting Brave being book 3 I had to make sure that I read books 1 & 2 first. I totally immersed myself into the student world of Fenbrook Academy reading all 3 books back to back and each book just kept getting better.

This book centres around Jasmine, she is the flirty, fun & most outgoing one of the Fenbrook girls. An acting student who is looking for her big break, she is such a fantastic actress that no one, not even her friends know that she has only been playing the part of Jasmine for the last 3 years. She is in fact Emma, a lost girl on the run from her abusive past and a father she despises. Desperate to put her past behind her she changes her name, changes who she is & builds walls around herself determined to leave Chicago a distant memory. She manages all of this pretty well until police officer Ryan walks into her life.

Jasmine had been built not on rock or even sand but dark, endlessly - churning waters. 
By the time the semester started, Emma was shrinking, falling rapidly backward down a dark little hole into a secret corner of my mind, her cries getting fainter and fainter. Already, she seemed like a bad dream.
Everything is going well for Jasmine, she lands her dream job on a new cop tv show unfortunately she is not expecting the show to also be using real police officers to play parts. Jasmine & the police just don't mix and she is sent into turmoil even more so when she realises that she her on screen lover will be real cop, Ryan. Ryan has long been dreaming of Jasmine since he had run into her & her friends when one of them was a victim of a mugging a few months previously. Just as Ryan is building up the courage to talk to Jasmine his partner is killed and he blames himself with the guilt sending him into a downward spiral. Full of anger he comes very close to losing his badge unless he agrees to take some time out & work on the cop show to prove that he can handle his issues.
I'd lost all interest in anyone else. Jasmine was like the wobbly tooth your tongue can't stop playing with. I kept being drawn back to her, back to Fenbrook Academy, back to this same damn street and yet, every time I got there, I couldn't say what I needed to say. How do you ask out an actress? 

 What follows is two people fighting to stay in control of themselves. Jasmine battles to keep Emma hidden but when she is around Ryan it seems impossible not to let Emma try to surface. She believes that there is no way that anyone would want to be with her as Emma & that Jasmine is the one all men want. Then we have Ryan struggling with his guilt around Hux's death and trying to deal with the new issue of jealousy when any other man is around Jasmine.

I could feel the walls that formed Jasmine groan and creak , their plaster cracking dangerously, but I was past caring.
He. Doesn't. Like. You. He likes Jasmine. And there is no such person. She was smoke and mirrors and giggles and perfume. Perfectly convincing until he got too close. 

For me the story of Jasmine/Emma's past adds a whole new layer to the Fenbrook Academy series with this book being much more about mystery and suspense. It made that part of me that loves crime fiction very happy. I loved the characters of both Jasmine & Ryan & was so happy to see Jasmine get her own story. In the other books she comes across as very fluffy & a little ditzy but in Acting Brave we get to see what a truly strong & impressive woman she actually is. She is definitely my favourite out of all the Fenbrook girls, I love her how feisty & sassy she is combined with the scared little girl who is struggling to rebuild herself after being so broken.

And as for Ryan. Swoon! He has my vote for hottest guy in the Fenbrook series. What's not to love? He is good looking, sensitive, willing to fight for his woman and he truly loves Emma for who she is not the act that is Jasmine. He is such a tortured soul and really compliments Jasmine quite perfectly.

 "I have loved you," he told me, "from the first time I set eyes on you. You are burned into my mind like a furious fire that can never be put out.'
To sum things up this book was an amazing addition to the Fenbrook series. Helena Newbury in my opinion has created by far the two strongest characters in Jasmine & Ryan, characters that I felt I really connected with and wanted to find happiness. The suspense in the book built perfectly & the secondary characters that we have come to know & love play their part beautifully. A must for fans of the Fenbrook series or a great romantic suspense.

About The Author

I’m a New Adult Romance author who loves writing about what happens when love and dreams collide with the real world. I wrote my first novel, Dance for Me, in daily chunks in a very busy, very noisy coffee shop, which meant I had to order a black Americano every hour, on the hour, to keep my seat and wound up wired on caffeine most days. I hit the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists in summer 2013. Unlike my characters, I can’t dance.


  • A Kindle Fire HD7 (US & CAN)
  • A Fenbrook Academy T-shirt (choice of size) (US & CAN)
  • 3 x $10 Amazon gift cards (INTL)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. Great review, Sam! I love how complex this story sounds with its characters. Getting the background/past of the characters always makes them all the more realistic, I find. And the mystery aspect sounds very well done, too! Glad you liked it! :)